With the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, around the state of Iowa, measures of social distancing are being implemented around the area, including closures of schools, libraries, and more. Following are updates from a number of organizations.

Maple Heights Nursing Home – Sunday, March 15,

11 a.m.

Maple Heights is following the federal mandate of no visitors due to COVID-19. We are taking their care very seriously and want to protect them as you would. We will be educating our residents on social distancing. You may hear of some changes in how we approach activities and communal dining. These are also under the directives from the federal government. As always, please call with your concerns, 712-881-1680. Together, we will get through this trying time. Thank you for allowing us to care for your loved ones.

MVAO Superintendent

Jeff Thelander - Sunday, March 15 at 9:30 p.m.

Based on Governor Reynolds’ recommendation tonight (Sunday), school will be closed immediately starting Monday, March 16, and until further notice. At four weeks, school would resume April 13 and parents, I strongly urge you to plan for this scenario. All activities are also cancelled until further notice. Tonight (Sunday), the CDC recommended a reduction to 50 or fewer people in gatherings until further notice. Our focus as a school is to help our community remain stabilized during this time and to provide our students a quality education remotely under the circumstances. More details on these plans will be coming in the days ahead.

SMASH at St. Matthews Lutheran Church, Mapleton – Monday, March 16, 9 a.m.

The SMASH program has ended for the year, following the governor’s guidelines.

Maier Family Pharmacy - Monday, March 16, 10:30 a.m.

Curbside pickup is an option for patients who are not feeling well or do not need/want extra exposure to unwanted germs. Please call the pharmacy to let them know you are out front. All patients are welcome to walk in the pharmacy for prescription drop off and pick. The pharmacy also offers delivery service.

Mapleton Mayor Brent Streck - Monday, March 16 at 11:30 a.m.

I wanted to share an update on the current events in Mapleton due to the COVID-19. Right not there are no confirmed cases in Monona County. There was a meeting in Onawa that I attended late last week with all healthcare providers to develop a plan if things get worse. We are by no means at a critical state yet.

1. City Hall is asking to reduce all foot traffic at the counter inside. Please mail your payments or use the outside depository. I believe we have envelopes in the lobby area if you need them. Instead of stopping to ask questions, please call. The office is open, but please no loitering.

2. Please do not flush anything besides toilet paper. Anything else will plug the pumps at the sewer plant. This includes facial issues, paper towels, fabric towels, and “flushable” wipes.

3. It is up to local businesses to decide if they wish to stay open at this point. The CDC has recommended no gatherings of 50 or more people. If you were planning on attending an event in the near future, please call ahead as it is more that likely no longer being held. Or at least not being held in the same way it was planned.

4. The library will make a decision this morning and will let me know how they are going to proceed, more details very soon.

Lastly, I just want to say that this too shall pass. There is no reason to panic. Be mindful of washing your hands and do what you can to stop the spread of this and all germs. If you are sick, stay home. If you need to see a doctor, please call ahead to get recommendations if you need to be seen instead of just showing up. If you have basic questions, do not call 911. The phone number 211 has been set up as a statewide number for recommendations and advice.

Mapleton has gone through tougher times than this and came out just fine. Call and check on each other, but limit face-to-face to contact for now. In a few weeks things should get back to normal. I will post city related updates as I get them.

Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library – Monday, March 16, 4 p.m.

The Fisher-Whiting Memorial Library in Mapleton will be open Monday, March 16, until 7 p.m., the rest of the week the library will have curb side/door service available. No foot traffic will be allowed in the library. Call 712-881-1312 to get books checked out to you. Check out the catalog on the library’s webpage for a list of books. All programs for this week (March 16-21), have been cancelled.

MVAO Superintendent

Jeff Thelander – Monday, March 16 at 7:30 p.m.

Beginning tonight (Tuesday), I want to try to give a daily update to our parents and community. These are certainly unprecedented times and our communication is critical to keeping everyone in the loop with all school scheduling and developments.

Last night (Monday), I shared that we want to do all we can to help keep our community stabilized, and we want to provide support to all of our students’ learning while school is closed. Tonight, I want to focus on goal one with the following updates:

1.) MVAO WILL be filing for a state waiver tomorrow (Tuesday) that will allow us to provide daily meals to students and families needing this assistance. Once this is in place, we expect to begin providing meals during weekdays beginning on Monday, March 23, through the weeks that we are out of school. More specific details will be coming later this week. We are also working with our local faith-based organizations to continue providing the wonderful backpack program in our communities.

2.) Our school is working with Burgess Health to offer continued resources for our students during this trying time. This may include opportunities for counseling or ZOOM counseling. If you have questions about this, please e-mail Emily Low at elow@mvaoschool.org or Kristi Clark at kclark@mvaoschool.org, and they can forward your request to Burgess staff.

3.) School building keys for all community members are being turned off today and will be off until school resumes.

On Tuesday evening (March 17), I will have some updates on supplemental resources that our teachers will be using to help keep our students active with their education during the time we are closed.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to e-mail one of our principals or me.

Schleswig Public Library - Monday, March 16, 8 p.m.

The Schleswig Public Library will be closed until further notice due to the Coronavirus.

Catholic Church –

Press Release – March 16

Following the recommendations released by the Centers of Disease Control to “cancel large events or gatherings that could contribute to the spread of COVID-19,” Bishop Walker Nickless issued the mandate to suspend all Sunday and public Masses effective immediately. This suspension will extend for eight weeks, and then will be re-evaluated as the coronavirus situation develops.

“This has been the most difficult decision I have made during my time as bishop,” Bishop Nickless explained after making the decision to cancel all Masses, which will include Holy Week, the high point of the Catholic Church’s liturgical year. “The health and well-being of all people in the diocese, as well as all Catholics, is of the utmost importance at this time. I ask all the faithful for their understanding and to join me in prayer for the end to this public health crisis.”

During this period, Catholics in the Diocese of Sioux City are dispensed from the obligation to attend Sunday Mass, according to the bishop’s mandate.
Liturgical and parish guidelines for this eight-week period will include: 

• Celebration of public Masses – All public celebrations of the Mass will be suspended. Pastors are encouraged to broadcast private Masses via electronic means for their parishioners.

• Holy Week – Holy Week liturgies are suspended

• Baptisms – Baptisms will only be celebrated with immediate family and godparents. There will be no large group baptisms.

• Weddings – Only immediate family members and witnesses are to attend weddings. Clergy are not to attend related social functions. Parishes are not to host receptions.

• Funerals – Funerals may be celebrated only with immediate family members. Parishes may not host funeral dinners. The funeral vigil, wake or other events should all be held the same day as the funeral.

• Sacrament of Confirmation – All spring celebrations of the sacrament of confirmation are suspended.

• First Communion – The celebrations of First Communion are suspended

First State Bank - Effective Tuesday, March 17

The FSB lobbies will be temporarily closed. All business will be conducted at our drive up windows. Mapleton customers please use the drive ups at Danbury, Battle Creek, or Ida Grove.

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